I ask my son about every other day if he’s excited to go to Kindergarten. He is. It doesn’t seem to bother him that the majority of his daycare friends will all be going to a different school. He has three daycare classmates that will be in his kindergarten. He will know three kids. Three.
Kids are so resilient, aren’t they? A new experience, a slight disruption – while it breeds some hesitation, it also breeds excitement and anticipation.
Me, on the other hand, I’m dreading it. We’ve been in a nice cocoon at daycare. I know the moms in his class – which ones I like and which I don’t. I know which kids are the trouble makers and which are the nice quiet ones you want to have over for a Saturday AM playdate. My daycare mom friends and I bonded over shared experiences of bottle feeding, potty training, and preschool learning. My social life with my mom’s group is as comfortable as a warm fleece blanket that just came out of the dryer.
Kindergarten?! A whole new ballgame. No “drop offs” or “pick ups” with other parents. I’ll be shepherding my kid onto a bus where he’ll be off to meet new friends. He’ll come home with stories of kids I have never met. He’ll want to make friends and play with new kids. And I’ll have to let him.
So it’s a new experience for both of us. At orientation night, the discussions were geared toward stay at home moms who were leaving their kids for the first time. Yeah, I lived through that experience when my son was six months. Over five years I’ve watched as he has grown into an independent self thinker, with intellect, empathy, and a passion for learning. I won’t have to worry about him clinging to my leg on the first day of school.
No, I’m certain I’ll be watching teary eyed as he charges forward, bravely accepting the new opportunities and challenges that await him. And in that spirit, I will have to accept my own.